Alan served 13 years in the 23 Pioneer Regiment, serving across the UK & abroad. He carried out a number of tours & postings including Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Germany and Kenya. Alan left the Army in 2003 with honourable discharge and exemplary conduct.

Since leaving the Military, Alan has sadly suffered with PTSD and anxiety due to incidents occurring in Cyprus and Bosnia. This caused him to become very socially isolated rarely leaving his home and unable to find employment. After receiving support from Combat Stress he was referred to Forward Assist in 2015.

Alan initially received 1-2-1 support from our caseworkers to build confidence before getting involved with our Cook2Give programme. He also took part in the Glass Centre project, equine therapy and ghyll scrambling.

By taking part in these activities, Alan’s confidence has hugely improved which has led him to become a fulltime volunteer with Forward Assist, managing the cook2give project with one of our project leads. This includes food hygiene training, cooking, developing menus and serving customers.

‘Forward Assist have helped me become the person I was before I left the Army. I have gained many new friends since volunteering with them as well as many different skills. I am now looking forward to moving into employment with the help of Forward Assist and moving on with my life’.